Algeria (MNN) — The Body of Christ is growing in Algeria. Believers proclaim Jesus boldly in and around al-Qaida terrorist camps. However, sharing the Gospel with Arabs can cause serious problems.
As part of an effort to stem Christianity’s rapid growth, Algeria’s government banned unregistered religious gatherings. Yet, it won’t give meeting or building permits to Christians.
“They assume every group that gathers together is against the law and the government,” A3’s Yemathen* says.
After dozens of church closures in recent years, Algerian Christians found a workaround.
“Most Christians are now training to find another way of doing church or getting together without risking another [church] closure,” Yemathen says.
“A number of leaders are convening their meetings in their homes, and sometimes in the wilderness or the forests.”
Unfortunately, this approach is not foolproof. “One of my leaders in Algeria decided to meet in ‘the bush’ (wilderness) because they had just started a church,” Yemathen says.
“They were followed by 20 policemen who stopped the meeting and inquired about the nature of the meeting. They (police) asked for their IDs, recorded their names, and [the believers] may be called for a court case.”
Ask the Lord to strengthen and encourage persecuted Christians in Algeria. Learn more about A3’s work in the Middle East/North Africa region here.
“The churches are growing, not necessarily in buildings, but spreading all over the place,” Yemathen says.
“The fact that they are persecuted [adds] value to the faith professed by our brothers and sisters because they stand on the truth and the conviction that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and Life, and there is no other way.”
Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Artem Zhukov/Pexels.